What Does Anxiety Looks Like

You have certainly heard the word “anxiety” a lot, but what does it mean to genuinely feel anxiety? Being constantly worried or showing excessive dread are just some of the most common symptoms of anxiety. Everyone occasionally worries about things, but having anxiety means that your worries significantly interfere with your daily life.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1 in 13 people worldwide suffer from anxiety, making anxiety the most prevalent mental health issue in the world. If you believe you are experiencing anxiety, let this be a comfort that you are not alone! There are also multiple proven treatment methods for anxiety.

Most anxiety conditions involve several or all of the symptoms listed below. However, depending on your specific experience anxiety symptoms might vary. The following signs and symptoms are the most commonly experienced in generalized anxiety disorder: (GAD).

Mental Symptoms:

  • Tension and Irritability
  • Depressed mood
  • Fearing the worst
  • Constant worry
  • Seeking reassurance from others
  • Disassociation to world (Feeling like the world or situations aren’t real)
  • Disassociation to self- (Feeling like you aren’t connected to yourself)

 

Physical Symptoms:

  • Feeling faint or disoriented
  • Feeling overheated or perspiring
  • Higher heart rate
  • Panic attacks
  • Issues with the digestive system
  • Hyperventilating or rapid breathing
  • Nausea or stomach pain
  • Body aches
  • Feeling weak and exhausted.
  • Insomnia
  • Alterations in sex drive

Specific Types of Anxiety

There are many forms of anxiety. It can be helpful to understand and identify exactly what you are experiencing so that you can choose next steps.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder or G.A.D. is the most common anxiety disorder and generally what people are referring to when they say they “have anxiety”.  Most of the time, people with GAD experience anxiety and worry without necessarily being in a stressful setting. They frequently anticipate the worst-case situation and struggle to restrain these negative thoughts and feelings.

Generalized anxiety disorder can negatively impact your everyday life because it produces uncontrollable worry. It can feel impossible to concentrate on what you are attempting to accomplish. It interferes with relationships, sleeping, eating, working, and tasks of daily living.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is categorized as extreme dread of social situations and speaking in front of others. If you suffer from social anxiety, you may find yourself worrying about being mocked, attacked, or judged by others.  Being forced to hang out with strangers or being around sizable crowds of people may make you feel extremely uneasy.

Meeting new people, dating, giving a speech in front of an audience, striking up a conversation, and eating in public are some of the situations when social anxiety may manifest itself most frequently. While these situations may not seem nerve-wracking to some, they can be devastating for someone who has social anxiety.

Panic Disorder

Although you’ve definitely heard of panic attacks before, you may not be aware that panic attacks can be part of a diagnosable mental health disorder.  Recurrent and unanticipated panic attacks are indications of panic disorder. Every panic attack can be a terrifying experience, and this can be quite disruptive to daily life!

Other symptoms can include heart palpitations, uncontrollable shaking, hyperventilation, and disorientation. These symptoms can occur suddenly, leaving you with a high level of anxiety and paralyzing fear.  Although you feel at risk, it’s important to know that a panic attack cannot kill you.

Treatment

There are many different treatment options for anxiety. Everybody responds differently to treatment methods and people often need a combination of treatments to adequately address the symptoms. Counseling and medication are the two main methods of anxiety treatment. Remember that this list is not all-inclusive.

  • Counseling for Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective forms of therapy and is frequently used to treat depression and anxiety.  The goal of CBT is to both identify and disrupt negative thought patterns in order to alter your thoughts,  behaviors, and therefore your emotion.

  • Applied Relaxation Therapy

This form of treatment can effectively treat the physical symptoms of anxiety. In order to help the body calm down, it requires recognizing situations that could potentially cause panic and learning how to apply muscle relaxation techniques.

  • Anxiety Medications

For some, therapy alone may not be successful. Medication can be an effective approach for those with intense symptoms, or those not seeing improvement through therapy alone. Treatment with medication can be used for a short time until symptoms subside or for years. It is important to note that medication affects everyone differently and can come with an array of side effects. Please speak with a qualified medical professional in order to determine your need for medication or about stopping a current medication.

An essential component of being able to take care of yourself is having an understanding of your own mental health, as well as treatment options.

If you are ready to begin the journey of overcoming your anxiety, we are here for you!  At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we have a team of caring therapists who are highly trained in helping you work through anxiety and create a life you want.  The next step is to call us at (405) 921-7776.  We hope to meet you soon!

3 Things Causing You Anxiety That You May Not Have Thought Of

Have you ever had anxiety and didn’t know why? There’s nothing on your mind, but you feel it in your body. It’s miserable – it’s fear of the unknown, and from that fear comes a sense of dread that you just can’t place. The good news is that anxiety can be managed with the right approach, but to do so you’ll need to identify and address what may have triggered it in the first place.

Sometimes, the cause of anxiety lies in our tendency to overlook certain areas of our lives. You may put off difficult conversations, or not take care of financial obligations that we know need attention. You might even ignore physical symptoms that should be addressed by a doctor. All these things can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, which can manifest as anxiety in both our mental and physical states.

Here are three aspects of life that often go unchecked, yet can be the source of considerable stress.

Lifestyle

It is important that you are taking care of yourself physically in order to also take care of yourself mentally. Aspects such as your sleeping patterns, eating habits, and screen time can play a role in your anxiety levels. If you are unable to pinpoint something that is causing your anxiety you might first want to take a look at how you are currently showing yourself love and care. This could also mean spending more time doing things that you enjoy such as reading, exercising, or spending time with family and friends.

Environment

An unhealthy or toxic environment can cause you to have anxiety. This can range from your house to your workplace. An environment is made up of both people and objects.

Let’s take your workplace for example, if you are surrounded by a boss or co-workers that are degrading or disrespectful this could cause you to become uneasy. Become aware of the people and interactions you encounter because they can play a role in your mental well-being. Another more surprising aspect is how you are keeping your space. Are you organized? Is your trash thrown away around your desk? Do you lose things often? For some, little changes like these can increase your productivity and create a more peaceful lifestyle.

Stress Factors

Stress is a hard topic to tackle because there are so many things in your life that could cause you to stress. Stress can then become a trigger for your anxiety. Some common stress factors include finances, relationships with your friends and family, or your health. It is important that you can find healthy ways to cope with stress in your life in order to keep you from becoming anxious. Coping can look different for everyone. If you are having trouble finding healthy coping mechanisms, finding a therapist can be a great place to start.

Next Step:

If you are experiencing anxiety in your life and are looking for ways to make changes, we CAN help you. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting it is our goal to help equip you with tools to build the life you want. You can reach us at (405) 921-7776

How to Embrace the Season That You’re In

Most therapists would describe fear of letting go of the past as depression and fear of what’s to come in the future as anxiety. All that lies between the past and the future is a single day--today.

Listen, I know how difficult it is to let go of the good-ole days, and I know first-hand how a coming deadline or the loss of income can send your mind spinning into hyper drive. How many fully-present days do we ever get to enjoy without fear of yesterday or tomorrow creeping in? Not very many.

We have to fight hard to embrace each day and remember they are each gifts. There is no guarantee of tomorrow, and entire lifetimes can be wasted fixated on what’s to come without ever getting to fully experience the here and now.

When our eyes are fixed on the days behind us or ahead of us, we lose sight of the gifts God has tucked away for us here, today! When we look at the day we’ve been given and accept it for exactly as it is instead of wondering what it could or should be, our hearts will be filled with gratitude and our minds will finally be at peace.

Accept Your Season

If you are living in a difficult season, it’s okay to acknowledge the challenges you’re facing!

I had a client once who was the mother to young twins, and she was so worn out that she felt this enormous guilt for not enjoying the season she was in. She tried her hardest to be as productive as she was before she had two babies to take care of and ended up driving herself into to the point of depression.

Once she accepted her new season along with the limitations that came with it, she was able to give herself more grace and pay attention to the gifts of motherhood at a much slower pace.

Are you in a new season where you have to give up the standards and perfection you’ve held in the past?

Accept Your Challenges

With every season comes challenges. Just like the mother I mentioned earlier, you may be hard-pressed for time or energy. Maybe you just lost your job and the greatest challenge you are facing is a lack of income as the holidays quickly approach. Maybe someone in your family was just diagnosed with a chronic illness and you are now having to change your lifestyle to accommodate it.

The reality is that every season, whether good or bad, comes with its fair share of challenges. The sooner you are able to name and accept those challenges, the easier it will be to stop looking back at how life used to be and you can live in confidence that you will one day step out of this season into something better.

Know Where Your Mind Wanders

I am someone who constantly looks to the future. I’m a visionary. That happens to be one of my strengths, but it also means that anxiety creeps in if I don’t constantly push against it and make every effort to keep my mind fixed on the present.

Maybe you are the sort of person who by default always has your eye on the rear-view mirror. Knowing where our minds tend to fixate will help us fight against these temptations. If you are unsure of where your mind seems to wander, ask someone who knows you well and they can help you shed some light on the situation.

As we enter the holiday season, it is so easy to lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle of travel, family, and vacations. Remember, there are so many gifts in store for you each day, and unless you take time to pay attention and see what God has hidden away from you, you could miss out on what makes the holiday season so special!

Here are some questions for you to consider this holiday season:

  1. What season are you in and what challenges come with the territory?
  2. What challenges do you need to accept as the way of life for now?
  3. Where does your mind wander if you allow it? Does it slip into anxiety of the future or does it look longingly to the past?